If you missed Bill O'Reilly's mailbag segment on May 22, you missed a mockery in the making of any reasonable meaning of what a "Patriot Store" might be all about.
Stewart Hollins in Rio Ranch, N.M., opined that Mr. O had some great looking mugs and terrific bold and fresh shirts, but wondered where these items were made. Mr. O'Reilly replied, "Mugs are made in the USA, Stewart. The shirts in Central America. We cannot get the volume of shirts we need in America, sadly."
Surely Mr. O'Reilly can't believe his own words. Especially today in America's downtrodden economy, there are plenty of domestic shirt suppliers ready and willing to jump at the chance to supply the "Patriot Store" with whatever is needed.
A spokeswoman at Waterloo, Iowa-based Image Pointe says they have 40,000 shirts ready to go and can quickly access another 200,000 if needed. Chantilly, VA-based K&R Industries says they could supply any amount of union-made, American-made t-shirts Mr. O'Reilly might need. Just tell them how many.
I don't carry the same shirts touting the words "Bold and Fresh" or "American Patriot" on them, but I do have American-made, union-made shirts (sizes small-3XL in black or white) that tout a bold American flag and the phrase "Buy American!" on them, and I charge over 30 percent less than Bill O'Reilly does to boot in my USA Shop!
At O'Reilly's Patriot Store, you'll pay $19.95 (members pay $17.95) plus $5.98 for shipping to buy a shirt made in places like Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador, or Nicaragua. At the USA Shop, you can get an authentic, American-made "Buy American!" shirt for $17.95, with shipping already included.
And with each Buy American! t-shirt order, you'll receive a free anti-NAFTA and a free anti-WTO button (both made in USA) you can pin on your new shirt.
Upon further investigation, I guess I know why Bill chooses Central America over the United States of America to produce his American Patriot shirts. In his help center where you can find answers to frequently asked questions, he claims "It can be, however, impossible to find, or prohibitively expensive to carry, certain products that are 100% USA-made."
Someone should tell O'Reilly that American producers for his shirts are not hard to find, and as is evident from the shirts available in my USA Shop, they aren't prohibitively expensive either. But then again, real American patriots don't sell shirts made in hellhole countries to try to make a killing ? they make them in America because it's the right thing to do.
Roger Simmermaker is the author of How Americans Can Buy American: The Power of Consumer Patriotism. He also writes "Buy American Mention of the Week" articles for his website www.howtobuyamerican.com and is a member of the Machinists Union and National Writers Union. Roger has been a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, has been quoted in the USA Today, Wall Street Journal and US News & World Report among many other publications, and is now a weekly contributor to WorldNetDaily.